UPDATE − update rows of a table


UPDATE [ ONLY ] table SET column = { expression | DEFAULT } [, ...]
[ FROM fromlist ]
[ WHERE condition ]


UPDATE changes the values of the specified columns in all rows that satisfy the condition. Only the columns to be modified need be mentioned in the statement; columns not explicitly SET retain their previous values.

By default, UPDATE will update rows in the specified table and all its subtables. If you wish to only update the specific table mentioned, you must use the ONLY clause.

You must have the UPDATE privilege on the table to update it, as well as the SELECT privilege to any table whose values are read in the expressions or condition.



The name (optionally schema-qualified) of the table to update.


The name of a column in table.


An expression to assign to the column. The expression may use the old values of this and other columns in the table.


Set the column to its default value (which will be NULL if no specific default expression has been assigned to it).


A list of table expressions, allowing columns from other tables to appear in the WHERE condition and the update expressions.


An expression that returns a value of type boolean. Only rows for which this expression returns true will be updated.


On successful completion, an UPDATE command returns a command tag of the form

UPDATE count

The count is the number of rows updated. If count is 0, no rows matched the condition (this is not considered an error).


Change the word Drama to Dramatic in the column kind of the table films:

UPDATE films SET kind = ’Dramatic’ WHERE kind = ’Drama’;

Adjust temperature entries and reset precipitation to its default value in one row of the table weather:

UPDATE weather SET temp_lo = temp_lo+1, temp_hi = temp_lo+15, prcp = DEFAULT
WHERE city = ’San Francisco’ AND date = ’2003-07-03’;


This command conforms to the SQL standard. The FROM clause is a PostgreSQL extension.